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Undergraduate Research: Research Opportunities & Awards

Getting Started with Undergraduate Research

Now that you are ready to participate in undergraduate research, how do you get started? Here are some steps to take:

  1. Identify what kind of research you would like to do.
    • What are you interested in?
    • What subjects intrigue you?
    • What type of research would hold your interest?
  2. Find research opportunities.
    • Check out the undergraduate research opportunites listed in the box to the right.
    • Develop a list of potential faculty research mentors from classes, events, and seminars you have attended (see the Gearing Up for Research tab for a selection of opportunites to identy potential faculty mentors). Many research mentors do not post opportunites, rather they prefer that undergraduates meet with them to develop an opportunity together.
  3. Prepare to contact potential faculty research mentors.
    • Meet with an Undergraduate Research Program (URP) advisor to get tips on how you can put your best foot forward.
    • Realistically assess how much time you have to commit to research.
    • Prepare a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and/or resume. The Career Center can assit with resume and CV writing.
    • Compose a very short introductory e-mail to a potential research faculty advisor, introducing yourself, your interest in doing research, and asking if he or she is available to meet.
  4. Contact potential faculty research mentors
    • Send out introductory e-mail to faculty research mentors you are interested in working with, then wait. (You will have better success if you carefully select opportunities that are a good fit for you, rather than sending an e-mail to everyone who has posted an opportunity for your major).
    • Don't get frustrated if you are not successful in your first attempt. Politely thank the faculty member and ask if he or she knows of other opportunities in his or her research area.
    • If the faculty mentor is interested, he or she will likely arrange a meeting with you. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the faculty mentor's work by reading some of his or her research articles or reviewing his or her Web site before the meeting.

For more information, contact the Office of Research.


  • UW Bothell Undergraduate Research Award
    The purpose of these awards is to encourage and recognize the participation of undergraduate students in research endeavors. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
  • Mary Gates Research Scholarship
    Competitive scholarships intended to enhance the educational experiences of undergraduate students at the UW while they are engaged in research guided by faculty.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

  • Ronald E. McNair Program
    This program prepares undergraduates for doctoral study through involvement in research and scholarly activities. Students from all majors are eligible to apply as long as they are low-income and first-generation students OR they are part of a minority group.
  • URP Undergraduate Research Opportunities Database
    The Undergraduate Research Program (URP) database includes several hundred undergraduate research opportunities at the University of Washington. New opportunities are continually added. TIP: Do a keyword search using the word "Bothell."
  • Research Opportunites Beyond the UW
    Undergraduate research opportunities beyond the UW such as the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.